Electric grid

Expert Voices

As global energy access improves, cost and reliability lag

electric wiring draped over homes
Electric wires in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Photo: Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images

Progress continues to be made on global energy access, with the latest report from the International Energy Agency finding that 89% of the world’s population is connected to electricity.

The big picture: These impressive, rapid gains have kept the world on track toward the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7): modern energy access for all by 2030. As household access improves, the agenda to combat energy poverty is shifting to affordable and reliable access for business.

Expert Voices

Massachusetts sweetening the deal for energy storage systems

a fenced enclosure of battery units
Battery units in Longmont, Colo. Photo: Aaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images

A new $3.5 million energy storage system went online last month in Ashburnham, Mass., continuing a statewide expansion of systems designed to ease pressure on the electric grid at times of peak demand.

Why it matters: In January, Massachusetts became the first state to offer incentives for battery systems, with the approval of a $2 billion state energy efficiency plan. The program is expected to support the installation of 30–34 MW of storage capacity during its 3-year term, on top of 190 MW from other operating and planned projects.